Annotated Bibliography Assignment

:    _______________ in class:  Draft of Annotated Bibliography

Overview: Your annotated bibliography/critical evaluation assignment, compiled after intensive research on your topic, will present a brief evaluation of primary and secondary sources you’ll employ in the culminating research-based argument.  The final paper should consist of a bibliography annotating the most important sources you have discovered, evaluated, and used in your research process.  These bibliographies will be included in the ezines.

Purpose/Goals: The purpose of this assignment is to give you practice distinguishing between descriptive and evaluative annotations, to introduce you to the major citation systems in use today, to develop your ability to choose a system appropriate for your field and topic and, subsequently, to guide you through the use of that citation system correctly. In the process, you’ll accomplish the goals of learning how to discover, evaluate, and annotate the most important sources for your project.  These critical evaluation abilities will help you forge your research-based argument through reliance on the strategically most appropriate sources. 

Length: 4 pages and attach to the back a 1 page reflection on the writing and research process. 

Subject/Procedure:  Work through and develop your list of potential research sources from your proposal. Careful research notes are a crucial part of the process and they will help you avoid unintentional plagiarism (“kidnapping”) of material.

Audience: The annotated bibliography should be written with the entire class in mind as your audience. In other words, although your writing group may be quite knowledgeable about your subject area because you’ve been learning about it together, you should provide some additional explanatory information for technical terms, larger contexts, and other item-specific aspects of the sources you select for the annotated bibliography.

Preparation: In preparation for this assignment, I would like you to complete a series of readings on your own from both Internet and text resources:


Required Reading from online:

·        Critical Reading <>

·        Using Outside Sources, Taking Notes, Understanding Plagarism, Documentation, Quotations <> and <>

·        Evaluating Sources <>


Recommended Reading from The Everyday Writer: The entire section on “Doing Research”  and "Writing the Annotated Bibliography" <>

Format and Sample Annotated Bibliography Entries: Prepare the paper according to the MLA manuscript format  and the guidelines below. 

(The material below has been borrowed and modified from Ohio State University, the Center for the Study and Teaching of Writing, Writing Center Handouts Online: Source:


Annotated Bibliography

An annotated bibliography provides a brief summary of the contents of each book and article included in the list of sources used for a research project. Placed just below the facts of publication, the annotation describes the essential details of the work so that future researchers referring to an entry will be able to make an informed decision about using the text.

You must include a copy of each of your sources with your paper. In addition to least one (1) essay from the Conspiracy Theory class readings (ie., calendar, theory list, reading list), you will be including three (3) Internet sources from your own searching and three (3) different print sources for a total of seven (7) sources, minimum.

Each of your print sources should be from different types of sources and chosen from the following list:

A chapter from a book
A newspaper article
A popular magazine article
A news magazine article
An academic journal article
A book
A book review and/or critique

When writing a citation, be sure to use the format appropriate for the field in which you're writing (i.e., MLA, APA, Chicago, etc.). When writing an annotation, use the following guidelines:

·         Explain the main purpose of the work

·         Briefly describe the contents

·         Indicate the possible audience for the work

·         Describe the author's particular viewpoint or ideological framework if possible

·         Note any special features as well as any weaknesses or problems

·         Identify the relevance of the source to your research project

·         Limit your annotation to approximately three to six sentences


Ackerman, Robert W. "English Rimed and Prose Romances." Arthurian Literature in the Middle Ages. Ed. R. S. Loomis. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1959. 480-519.

Discusses the breadth of Arthurian legends in Middle English literature and finds that many are translations or derivatives of the French romances. Covers many of the diverse stories including the fifteenth century Scottish Lancelot of the Laik. Points to the political setting, the poet's style, and other perceived defects to show that it is an inferior.

Wang, Cristine. Defining Lines: Breaking Down Borders. September 2003 <>.

Defining Lines: Breaking Down Borders presents the surfing audience with a brightly colored and
comprehensive survey of the work of artists who are breaking down the borders or boundaries that define artistic practise in the 21st" (par. 1). Rather than being a one author website, this website is a collection of essays and artwork by various authors. The website presents several links to different websites designed by multimedia artists. The essays cover a variety of topics that range from an Electrohippies Collective manifesto on hactivism to Edouard Kac's academic discussion of the dialogic in cyberspace. Though many of the pieces are relevant to the the new communicative space that is cyberspace, there are a few flaws in relation to links that no longer work and pieces written by people who have not thought through both sides of the argument. Much of this site is single minded. Since this class focuses primarily on the role of hackers in society, many of these essays are relevant to the exploration of the numerous web-related topics including hactivists, cyborgs, and hacker ethics.